Health Officials Point to Vaccine for Whooping Cough Outbreak

By KBJR News 1

Health Officials Point to Vaccine for Whooping Cough Outbreak

January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 4:27 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Whooping cough continues to plague Minnesota more now than in years past.

Minnesota Department of Health spokespeople say the number of cases reported last year exceeded pre-vaccine cases dating back to the 1940s.

Officials say last year's nearly 4,500 cases are linked to the current vaccines lasting only a few years before immunity begins to wane.

Though the current vaccine offers the most protection for young children, officials say a relatively new alternative may help prolong protection.

"There is a new vaccine that has been out for the last six years," said Kris Ehresmann, the director of Infectious Diseases at the Minnesota Department of Health said. "It is the TDAP booster, it's a vaccine that can be taken in place Tetanus Diphtheria Booster people have been used to getting. That's one thing we can do is making sure people take advantage of that booster and getting some pertussis protection."

Most of Minnesota's 90 current whooping cough cases are in Hennepin county and surrounding areas.

There are no reported cases in Northern Minnesota so far.

Kevin Jacobsen
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